Bryant stays mum on new Lakers coach Mike Brown
Kobe Bryant had plenty to say about how he wants to help end
homelessness among youth in Los Angeles. The NBA superstar had
nothing to say about new Lakers coach Mike Brown.
Bryant and his wife, Vanessa, appeared together at a nonprofit
in Hollywood on Tuesday to announce the formation of their new
foundation focused on improving the lives of youth and families in
Bryant has remained publicly mum since Brown was hired last week
over his choice of Brian Shaw, a longtime Lakers assistant under
recently retired coach Phil Jackson.
In his first public appearance since then, Bryant refused to
answer questions about Brown.
”Right now is not the time nor the place,” he said in a stern
tone. ”We’re here to focus on bigger issues, greater issues, and
that’s these kids that are here at the back. It’s not fair to them.
When the time comes, I will address that, but right now is not that
Asked when that time would be, Bryant cut off his questioner,
saying, ”Now is not the time.”
The Bryants spent about 20 minutes talking privately with some
of the young people who frequent the nonprofit A Friend’s Place on
Hollywood Boulevard. They told them how they ended up homeless.
”We want to help them kick butt,” he said, drawing
Bryant and his wife, who live in wealthy Orange County about an
hour’s drive from Hollywood, are ”kind of brand new” to the issue
of homelessness, he said.
”We’re still educating ourselves and will continue to do so,”
he said. ”The important thing for us is that we’re going to attack
Dressed in a navy polo shirt and navy slacks, Bryant towered
over everyone in the youth center. Vanessa Bryant, sporting a coral
mani-pedi and an off-the-shoulders creme top, didn’t speak.
Bryant said he’s seen homeless kids on the streets outside
Staples Center, where the Lakers play.
”It shocked the hell out of me because I had no idea,” he
said. ”After a game, driving home you kind of see the issue around
you, but you don’t see it. It’s all around us. It’s something that
we can solve.”